A very readable and supportive introduction to the job of caregiver.

THE LESSONS OF CARING

INSPIRATION AND SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS

A manual explores the challenges and rewards of adult caregiving.

Marabella aims this compact guide at the increasing numbers of adults in the 21st century who have been involved in some kind of caregiving, usually for older parents or relatives. The author breaks down his material into a series of brief chapters. Each chapter is subdivided into sections like “The Lesson,” stating the main points covered; “Homework,” giving exercises to help hammer home some of that advice; and “A Mantra,” offering readers a quick phrase they can repeat to themselves when the going gets tough. Each chapter also includes a scannable bar code that will lead readers to video presentations designed to accompany the lesson. Marabella’s book doesn’t have many pages, but it nevertheless covers a great deal of ground. Several of the practical aspects of caregiving are covered, but the guide’s main strength (aside from its very eye-catching design) is its compassionate focus on the intangibles that are such an important part of empathetic caregiving. One chapter, for instance, reminds readers that respect “requires a mastery of two equally important tasks: knowing what their wishes are, and keeping them distinct from my wishes.” Although Marabella is unfailingly sympathetic to his caregiving readers, he stresses throughout the book that the most important elements of this situation are the loved ones. This is even reflected in the author’s regular reminders for his readers to look after their own needs as well, something many nonprofessional caregivers may at first find counterintuitive. The homework for the chapter on how draining caregiving can be, for instance, starts with “Select one self-caring thing that you don’t do, but know you should do.” Readers who have embraced caregiving roles will likely find Marabella’s fast-paced and optimistic description of their new world both informative and encouraging.

A very readable and supportive introduction to the job of caregiver.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-578-45497-9

Page Count: 60

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2020

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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